By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
This week’s “Countdown to Calvin” came with some tougher choices than usual.
Our “Week in Review” of the top five meaningful games could’ve been 10, at least. Our “Watch List” is growing in every class – and we had enough jump out this week especially in Class A that finding more to highlight the rest of the way won’t be difficult.
Countdown to Calvin is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. To offer corrections or help us fill in missing scores, email me at [email protected].
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Kingsley 61, Maple City Glen Lake 45 – The Stags made a big statement in the Northwest Conference, remaining undefeated overall while handing Glen Lake its first defeat of 2017-18.
2. Detroit Mumford 44, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 35 – A string of three losses at the end of December is becoming a memory for Mumford with big wins like this one over last year’s Class B runner-up, now arguably the favorite in Class C.
3. Grand Rapids South Christian 57, East Grand Rapids 40 – The Sailors stand alone atop the Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold standings after handing the Pioneers their first league loss and second defeat overall.
4. Gaylord St. Mary 41, Bellaire 39 – St. Mary moved a game up in the Ski Valley Conference standings and should in statewide Class D regard after this meeting of teams that are a combined 19-3.
5. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 52, New Boston Huron 47 (OT) – The Kestrels moved into first place alone in the Huron League with just one loss overall after handing Huron its first this season.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
East Kentwood (12-0) – The Falcons arguably have been the most impressive team in the state. After finishing Class A runner-up last season, East Kentwood opened this one with eight wins by at least 16 points. The Falcons then won closer over O-K Red rivals Grand Haven (8-3) and Caledonia (8-2), but upped the margin again beating second-place Hudsonville (9-3) by 31 on Friday.
St. Clair Shores Lakeview (12-0) – Last season’s 21-2 run ended abruptly in a District Final loss, but that’s proving to be just a bump as the Huskies are cruising again. Fraser has come closest to catching them, falling by only 11 on Dec. 12 – and Lakeview won the rematch Friday by 29. The Huskies also own a 20-point win over New Baltimore Anchor Bay, the next-best team in the Macomb Area Conference Blue.
Armada (9-1) – The Tigers won 13 games a year ago and finished second in the Blue Water Area Conference to Croswell-Lexington. Armada now sits in first in the league thanks to a 44-42 win over the Pioneers on Friday, with two more league wins by four points or fewer. The only loss came last week as well, by two to Marlette.
Stanton Central Montcalm (13-0) – The Hornets’ 17 wins last season represented an increase for the fourth straight winter, and they’re making an even bigger splash. Not only is Central Montcalm undefeated in a Central State Activities Association Gold that also includes Big Rapids (11-1) and Reed City (9-2), but the Hornets have 10 wins by double digits and another nice victory over Class A Greenville (7-3).
Allen Park Cabrini (8-2) – The Monarchs opened 0-2 but haven’t lost since Dec. 5, their latest win a one-pointer over Madison Heights Bishop Foley. That was one of only two single-digit wins during the run – Riverview Gabriel Richard got within five earlier this month. Big games against Wixom St. Catherine and Royal Oak Shrine over the next two weeks will be telling.
Harbor Springs (7-4) – Harbor Springs finds itself with some intriguing opportunities in the Lake Michigan Conference after upsetting Kalkaska 47-42 on Friday despite falling to the reigning league co-champion big twice last winter. The Rams this week get first place Traverse City St. Francis and second-place Charlevoix, with more visions of vengeance no doubt.
Chassell (10-1) – Since falling to L’Anse by four points in its opener, Chassell is undefeated and nearly unchallenged with only one other single-digit game – against Baraga on Dec. 12. The Panthers are first and Baraga is second in the Copper Country division of the Copper Mountain Conference after Chassell finished third a year ago.
Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian (11-0) – The Swordsmen are building off Northern Lakes Conference and District titles last season, and excelling. They won an overtime game early over Harbor Springs (see above), but aside from a close win right after over Alanson have dominated. Harbor Light also has a 25-point win over NLC second-place Mackinaw City with their second meeting coming up next week.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Detroit Country Day (8-1) at Detroit Edison Public School Academy (9-1) – The reigning Class B and Class C champions, respectively, remain among heavy favorites in those brackets.
Tuesday – Bloomfield Hills Marian (9-1) at Farmington Hills Mercy (11-1) – This rivalry means as much as ever, as Marian won the first meeting 53-46 and the winner of this one could end up Detroit Catholic League Central champion.
Tuesday – Cedarville (11-1) at St. Ignace (10-0) – These are among the best small-school teams in the Upper Peninsula, with a 61-29 Saints win Dec. 6 the difference between which is undefeated.
Tuesday – Tecumseh (7-3) at Chelsea (10-1) – Both are undefeated in Southeastern Conference White play, Chelsea ahead in the standings with one more league win.
Friday – Macomb Dakota (9-2) at Warren Cousino (8-4) – After a 3-3 start, Cousino is surging in Macomb Area Conference Red play and can move into a tie for first place with Dakota if it can avenge a nine-point loss to the Cougars from Jan. 9.
PHOTOS: Grand Rapids South Christian, here against Ada Forest Hills Eastern, has surged into the top spot in the O-K Gold. (Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids South Christian athletic department.)